Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year...Go Pirates

"Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Should old acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne?"

Pictures In An Empty Room

"Sleep takes off the costume of circumstance, arms us with terrible freedom, so that every will rushes to deed. A skillful man reads his dreams for his self-knowledge; yet not the details, but the quality. What part does he play in them - a cheerful, manly part, or a poor, drivelling part? However monstrous and grotesque their apparitions, they have a substantial truth."

(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Slicks, Sleet, Seven Speeds, And A Snow Bunny Sighting: The Wednesday Ride

As much as I hate to admit it, Mongo spends more time watching the Weather Channel than a seventy five year old retiree living in Boca..."I loves me some Stephanie Abrams!" The upside to my meteorological fetish is that I have a good idea of how to plan my riding for each particular week. Unfortunately, the weather around here has been wet and cold for a couple of months and my riding has been a lot more specific because of it. Yesterday was a perfect example.

Mongo decided to do the 23/2300 Hammerfest loop on my mountain bike, Li'l Pony Express. I figured hauling a 23 lb hardtail with compact gearing around the course would be a challenge...I was correct. Mongo had about a five to ten minute head start on two of his teammates (who didn't invite me on the super-secret "fast guys only" ride with them), and I was pushing it pretty hard. Add in the fact that it was close to freezing, and sleeting occasionally, and it turned out to be a doozy.

Before the ride, I decided to use the mountain gearing to my advantage and never get out of the saddle when climbing. Even on the steepest inclines, I was in the 32 or 22 ring spinning my big ass off. I really felt it in my hips afterwards, but it turned out to be a great ride and workout. I'll definitely be taking LPE around the course again soon.

Speaking of hips, Mongo ran into his "Arch Nemesis" at the shop before the ride. I hadn't seen him in months, and word on the street was that he wasn't riding at all. After talking with him, he explained that the reason behind his lack of riding was due to an undiagnosed hip problem causing him chronic pain... that, and he also had a broken vagina.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Someone Please Get The Monk A Real Board

Mongo has always been a big fan of the Buddhists. I have tried to incorporate many of their principles into my own spiritual web, so to see a monk cruising on a board in a remote mountain temple in China just reinforces to me how cool they are. But...
He's riding a frickin' "Razor". Come on...!!! It's a toy, not a skateboard. Isn't Bob Burnquist a Buddhist? C'mon Bob...send your boy some schwag!

Who Gets The "Juice" In '010 ?...Stay Tuned

Sunday, December 27, 2009

It's Been Broughten: The Sunday Ride

Mongo's been so full of himself lately, it's been quite amusing to watch. Based solely on some recent strong performances in the highly competitive, Winter-multi-layered-solo-training-ride-Series, I am really feeling my oats. Coupled with the new co-ed, Double-Dutch team I just joined, my fitness level for this time of year may be at an all time high. It's no wonder that Mongo is confident that he will burst onto the scene next year and dominate the Cat 5 peloton. Everyone will wonder where this old timer came from.'s time for a new nickname!

As a cyclist, I knew there was just one sports hero, who was fictitiously portrayed in a movie, that accurately captured my upcoming story of next year's racing season. I'm talking about, of course, "Stroker Ace", from the movie "Stroker Ace". Since not too many people have seen this masterpiece, I decided to stick with an old standby.

Played proudly by Robert Redford, Roy Hobbs is an aging and wounded ballplayer who, through mystical means, manages to triumph over extreme corruption and adversity to have one last glorious moment in the spotlight. Therefore...Mongo's new Winter, alter ego, training nickname will be..."The Situation". Yeah...Jersey fist pumpin' in da house!!!

Oh yeah, "The Situation" did the MNR loop today plus an extra fifteen on the trail... "Yous girls wanna get in da hot tub?"

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Way Back To The Future

There are a couple of things that Mongo finds fascinating about this photograph. First of all, this handsome young man looks exactly like Mongo did at that age...haircut and wardrobe included. Secondly, based on the car in the background, I'd say this photo was taken in the late 40's/early 50's.

This kid is either building the first skateboard "ever", or it's the base for what will become a push-scooter...which were popular at the time.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Adeste Fideles

"And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more."
(Dr. Seuss)

"I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys."
(Charles Dickens)

"In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it 'Christmas' and went to church; the Jews called it 'Hanukkah' and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say 'Merry Christmas!' or 'Happy Hanukkah!' or (to the atheists) 'Look out for the wall!'"
(Dave Barry)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

When You've Officially Stopped Being Gnarly

Forrest Gump's Other Tee Shirt Idea

For People Who Have Ollie Envy

As someone who used to fly gas-powered, R/C planes and pilot R/C boats as a youth, I can tell you that, though cool looking, this skateboard concept is one thrown rider away from becoming a dangerous weapon.

Mongo made an Air-Boat once which had almost this exact configuration but with a smaller engine... and it was clocked at 30 mph.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Soapbox House Of Glass And Cards

"Generally speaking, a howling wilderness does not howl: it is the imagination of the traveler that does the howling."

(Henry David Thoreau)

Set The Stage

Waking up to the sounds of a fragile dream

Listening for answers in the language of fear

Silently hoping for acceptable reason

A guest in the family of no discernible regret

Cold Toes And Good Times: The Sunday Ride

It never cracked forty degrees yesterday. The sun came out for about fifteen seconds...and it was really windy. Perfect weather if you happen to have a "j" in the middle of your first name. For the rest of us, it was fairly miserable.

That being said, Mongo met up with his much stronger teammates, Clay and Jason, for a training ride on the "Hammerfest" loop. I felt pretty good, though because I had bronchitis as a kid, my lungs perform badly in cold weather...It's either that or the weed.

Mongo's Winter training program is right on schedule. If I can keep doing what I've been doing with my diet and riding over the next couple of months, I see no reason why I won't be a force in Cat 4/5 this upcoming season.

Mountain Biking...Suddenly I'm Interested

Willow Koerber...Mmmm!!!

Mongo Pusher Turns Two...And I Missed It

In Mongo's extremely hectic world of no wife, no children, plenty of rest and exercise, plus an incredibly flexible job, it's easy to see how I might forget a few important details every now and then.

Thus is the case with the anniversary of my own little corner of the Internet. If truth be told, and it is, I thought my first post was on December 17th. I was planning to write something to commemorate this monumental occasion on the seventeenth, but when I double checked, I realized I had missed the boat by two days I said "screw it" and went about my aforementioned busy life. Upon further review, I decided a few words needed to be written about why I have even been doing this blog for the past couple of years.

I never imagined that I would be enjoying and enthusiastic about an endeavour that allows me to express myself in so may ways. Mongo Pusher started out as an homage to the talented and prolific, Bike Snob NYC. His style and humour made me laugh out loud, and I thought a "similar'ish" blog for my own personal amusement would be fun. I soon realized that he was much better at it than I could ever be, but...I was having fun and slowly finding my own voice.

It was not my intention, at first, for everyone to read what I was writing. It was a cathartic way to express my feelings through humor and some occasionally dark poetry, and the anonymity of the computer provided a safe shelter. This blog became as much a personal journal as it did a satirical commentary. It's wild for me to think that today my blog has been viewed almost 20,000 times by people in 1,700 cities and 89 countries around the world. As far as Internet views go, I know it's no "Two girls...One cup", but it is nice to know that there are people out there that enjoy, for their own personal reasons, what I write sometimes.

I want to thank all of my patrons who have stopped by...especially the regulars. All the best to everyone...MP

Friday, December 18, 2009

Finally On A Big Boy Team

Juan Mauricio Soler gets a chance to bounce back from injury and a crappy team with a spot on Caisse d'Epargne in 2010. Mongo has a good feeling about this move. If Soler is back on form, he will be a key player in the mountains of any Grand Tour.

Circling The Wagons

Citing contentment with the UCI biological passport program, Mellow Johnny and Team Radio Shack will no longer use independent testing or publish blood values...Isn't that convenient!!!

This team is chock full o' slimeballs and suspected dopers. Steegmans, Rubiera, Popovych, Kloden, Mellow Johnny...all have skeletons in their closets. I think Bruyneel and his minions have figured out how to cheat the system, and are doing everything they can to seal the team off from any unwanted attention..."Allegedly!"

(Photo:Casey B. Gibson/CyclingNews)

Performance Enhancer ?

Apparently only if you're a Pro Downhill mountain biker. David Mock, (who Mongo's never heard of), gets a three month suspension for the weed. The only thing it enhances for Mongo is my appetite and waistline.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Unendorsed Spokesman

Mongo got himself a new pair of winter gloves recently. I was able to parlay my old Look A3.1 pedals into a gift card...which I then used to get some Louis Garneau 2/1 Vital gloves.
The "lobster claw" style wind covers can be tucked into the back of each glove in an unnoticeable manner, but based on personal experience, if it's under 45 degrees...use them. My hands were quite warm at 37 degrees.
Mongo used to use, and still has, Pearl Izumi Cyclone gloves. Though quite good in their own right, the Izumis can't match the Garneaus for warmth and flexibility...And they're both around the same price.
Check out the technical details here...and then go to the #1 Louis Garneau Experts in Northwestern Cobb County and pick yourself up a pair.

I Feel Dirty

"You've made your bed, now you've got to lie in it."

(Ancient cycling proverb)


Saturday, December 12, 2009

The British Are Going...The British Are Going

Freshly emancipated, Bradley Wiggins sits in for an acoustic set with his new team manager, David Brailsford.

With the "Ice Cold", Team Sky, Pinarello Dogma as the backdrop, these two busted out the classics from their favorite band...who also happen to look just like them.

(Photo:Mike King/CyclingNews)

Guilt...A Great Motivator: Mongo Up Close

Mongo couldn't stand it I layered up and went to the "Backcountry" for a few double-diamond runs on the Alva. I feel better now!

Suck It Up

There's nothing Mongo hates worse than when I act like a complete pee-you-ess-ess-why, and ruin an opportunity to go riding. Today, I definitely fit the description.

Granted, it was thirty six degrees and overcast when I got up at eight am this morning...and the forecast was for rain, but I knew that last night and still had every intention of doing the "Enemy Bike Shop Ride" at ten am. I had the appropriate cold weather gear picked out, and though the ride would be operating on the boundaries of sanity and hypothermia, Mongo was all in. Then when I woke up this morning...I talked myself out of it.

I should have gone. I won't be able to ride again until Monday.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

AK47 Update: Shocks And Monkeys

AK tries his best to look dignified while some of the younger team members impress Mellow Johnny with their track stands and nose wheelies. A team building mountain bike ride ensued, during which MJ regaled his new teammates with scintillating stories of how he dominated Dave Wiens at the Leadville 100.

(Photo:Casey B. Gibson/CyclingNews)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Between The Velvet Lies

A place of countless new beginnings

Discovered through consistent failures

A time for constructing replacement memories

Formed by ever changing views

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Watched By Empty Silhouettes

"So much of our time is preparation, so much is routine, and so much retrospect, that the path of each man's genius contracts itself to a very few hours."

(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Dolphins, Pirates, And A Hot Chick: The Sunday Ride

It's been a good weekend for Mongo. On Saturday, my ECU Pirates won their second consecutive Conference-USA title over nationally ranked Houston, and today, my Miami Dolphins beat the New England Patriots to stay one game back in the AFC East.

I also went riding...and it was very, very, cold! Mongo happened to run into teammates, "Alp d'Huez" Mike and "Two time defending Hammerfest champion" Clay at the trailhead this afternoon, and along with Mike's friend, "Smokin' hot" Lindsay, we all put in a brisk 30+ miles. Except for the the guy wearing sweatpants and ankle pouches on the Tri bike that we passed two or three times, there was practically no one out there. I would have enjoyed the ride much more had I not permanently damaged my lungs.

A Little Off On The F Stop

It's only appropriate that this post is the "feel good" second chapter to my last one. Redemption...rising from the ashes...overcoming adversity...sticking it to that dude from the "Cobra Kai" dojo in The Karate Kid...these are themes we can all rally behind. It is programmed into our human DNA to cheer for the underdog or embrace an unlikely champion who triumphed using wit and guile against more talented adversaries.

That being said...Mongo would like to congratulate his much slower training partner, "Shade Tizzle", on winning the final stop of the Georgia Cross cyclocross season...And by doing so, he completed a late season charge that secured him the Masters 35+ overall title...And all of this is because of Mongo!

I have a track record of motivational success, or what I like to call "The Juice", that has been used on Pro Tour teams as well as riders, and it has now trickled down to the regional cyclocross circuit. After my subtle jabs in the last post, Brady knew he was ready for "The Juice". He took it...and he won!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

And You Thought Your Camera Phone Was Crappy

It was pretty damn cold today... We're talking 40's and windy. As it turned out, Mongo was also quite under dressed for the occasion. This all made for a pretty short and miserable ride. I did get a chance to stop by the shop and chat with "Two podiums in a row" Brady about the conspiracy that's keeping him from winning races this season. Though I did find it a little odd that he made me watch the Zapruder Film in slow motion, I do think Oliver Stone might want to take a look into the secret "Star Chamber" of the Georgia Cross organization.

What caught my eye when I was talking to him was this beauty pictured above. It was just built for one of our team members, "God is my co-pilot...literally" Jason. It's a Blue AC1 SL with full SRAM Red And Zipp 404's(808's pictured)...and it's bad as shit! It comes in at a little over 15 lbs, with pedals, on an XL frame. You could line up at any UCI race and hold your head high on this bad boy

Here's what the bike is supposed to look like when not photographed by Brady's "Sepia" camera phone.